about our mission statement

A good friend asked us why we say, "we believe" rather than "we value" in our mission statement.

What is the difference between beliefs and values? Brent and I chatted about this and I am not sure where things will shake out.

This is how it would change...I think.

we value spending time with our family and helping our family financially if needed.

we value friends and family.

we value helping the less fortunate.

we value living close to work.

we value our money.

we value the benefits of small living.

we value our time away from work and therefore take all of our vacation days.

we living each day fully.

we value honesty.

we value promises.

we love.


book review: "getting started with R"

From Brent's blog:

Book Review: 25 Recipes for Getting Started with R by Paul Teetor; O'Reilly Media

25 Recipes for Getting Started with R by Paul Teetor is a little book of examples that solve particular problems using R. What's "R" you ask? Well, then this isn't the book for you, despite its "Getting Started" moniker. I knew that R was a hot new thing (program or programming language or environment or something) that people were using to do neat stuff with data and statistics. But I wanted to know more and this seemed like a good book start with. I should have read the Preface a bit more carefully as it clearly says:
This book is not a tutorial on R, although you will learn something by studying the recipes. The book is not an introduction to statistics either.
Those are both important caveats. While I know slightly more about R than I used to, I'm still looking to "get started" using R. The problem here, to be fair to to Teetor, is probably the publisher's (which it pains me to say since I love them so and I got this book for free in order to review it). This book is a set of excerpts from a larger book of recipes called the "R Cookbook." That book probably makes sense to buy if you've already gotten your start with R and want some guidance on how to solve problems using R. The "25 Recipes" book is too short (only 44 pages of actual "recipes", the first 6 pages of which cover installing and getting help on the web) to provide more than a very cursory overview. More troubling is that some of the explanations within the recipes seem truncated. I'm guessing that's because they refer to recipes in the full book that weren't included here. For example, Problem 1.10 carefully explains that, depending on how you select a column you might get a "vector" or a "data frame" returned. While most people reading a book about R are probably going to be able to intuit the distinction it still would have been helpful to have thrown in a "recipe" about it.  But of course, that would be more of a "tutorial" which this book states that it is not. As a positive, the book does cover the main things you'd want to know (basic statistical function, basic plotting/graphing, regressions). But it's hard to imagine that there aren't free alternatives on the web that get you at least as far. In sum, I like the idea behind the book but couldn't recommend this version. Perhaps the full "R Cookbook" is the way to go. Find the book here: http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920018315.do


going dancing...


book review: And Then We Came to the End

By Brent:
I wanted to like this book. But I didn't. I thought I was enjoying it for a while; it is clever and well-written. But by about page 100 I was tired of clever and well-written and funny observations about work life. I get it, I'm employed. The major plot themes move too slowly and the book is written in the first person plural ("we") which, for me, meant I never quite got attached to any of the characters. First person plural isn't done much in novels, it's considered very hard. I can see why because even though, as I said, the book was well written, I kept feeling like it was being told from the point of view of a particular person who never let us hear what he or she was thinking. Who is this "we" and why don't "we" ever say what "we're" thinking? And then I realized that, by definition, "we" is all of the characters in the book and I don't like any of them. So I stopped reading the book. There's a middle section (written more conventionally as "she") that was well done and somewhat more engaging. And then I skipped to the end. And the was nice but there's like, 278 pages from where I stopped to the end and I didn't really miss anything. So there you have it. Read 100 pages; skip to page 196 and read for, like, 30 more page, and then read the end. Or just let this book go even though it was highly regarded by reviewers.

photography drama

I am in the middle of frantically trying to get my photography site together because I am doing a big shoot in September. I wanted to come up with some fun name for my photography, but it turns out that everyone uses their name. Which is lame, but I am crunched for time so I need to just go with it.

Here's what the site looks like now:

You can click around and like pictures if you are so inclined.

I am super excited about the event. I am going to set up a photo booth to take pictures of families.

Matthias, in Berlin, is working on a new banner for me. He liked the name "Tripody." Which is cute, but is a little too close to potty in English.


mission statement

We worked on these a few months ago and then let them marinate. I would like to share our family's mission statement with you. I thought it was a good thing to do since we are not religious. I wanted to have written down what we value. I am sure we will refine this as time goes on, but for now this is it.

we believe in spending time with our family and helping our family financially if needed.

we believe some friends are like family.

we believe in helping the less fortunate.

we believe in not commuting.

we believe in living debt free, even if we aren't there yet.

we believe in small living.

we believe in taking all of our vacation days.

we believe life is short and working is a means to an end.

we believe in honesty.

we believe promises matter.

we believe in love.


pie town